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"Make a Living Writing is the only blog I read religiously. It's always on top of the news and advice writers need RIGHT NOW to earn more from their writing." —Linda Formichelli, The Renegade Writer

Think You Can’t Earn $100 Per Hour on Upwork? This Writer Does

photodune-8613567-redhead-business-woman-with-glasses-wins-on-computer-xs-croppedUpWork.com is one of my favorite places to find long-term, higher-paying freelance writing clients. Crazy, right?

The site (the new combined brand that’s the result of the oDesk-Elance merger) really is one of the best places to go if you want to be severely underpaid as a freelancer. But it also can be a great location for finding good prospects who are lost and confused in the never-ending search for quality writers — if you know how.

I’ve pulled clients who pay $100 per hour (and up) from this bidding site, and regularly use it to find strong new prospects. That’s despite the fact that I only check in once or twice a week, for a few minutes at a time.

You can find great pay on UpWork, too, by changing the way you approach a few elements of the site. These elements can help you avoid cheapskates and save you the time and frustration that usually goes along with navigating bid sites.

Here’s how I do it:

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Is Your Writing Client Having a Crisis? Here’s How to Stay Sane

Young aggressive businesswoman screaming in mobile phone

If you’re a freelance writer, this is going to happen:

You get a freelance writing client, and you’re all excited. You think this is going to be great!

Then, the wheels come flying off. Everything changes.

Your client has a big problem — and they want you to drop everything and solve it. Next, if you’re not careful, you end up underpaid and overworked. Here’s how to resist the pressure, keep your head, and turn this situation to your advantage:


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Should You Write a Free Sample to Get a Freelance Gig?

Freelance writer takes a writing test

I hate writing tests.

I’ve been professionally writing since 2009. Since then, I’ve taken a half-dozen or so tests for various gigs, providing a sample of my writing — and never landed the job.

Even worse, after every failed attempt, I’ve been left with a bitter taste in my mouth, griping about the wasted time.

So last November, when a marketing company requested I take a writing test that required I write a free sample for them, I was hesitant. But it turned out to be one of the best things I ever did. Here’s what happened:

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Why Your Article Pitch Was Rejected

freelance writer wondering why she was rejectedThere are five stages to pitching a story idea to an editor:

  1. You get an article idea
  2. You write the idea up, in a query letter or letter of introduction.
  3. You send the pitch letter in, usually via email.
  4. You wait, frequently in vain, for a response.
  5. You begin the second-guessing game, and start wondering why your article pitch didn’t get you an assignment.

That fifth stage often sends writers into an emotional tailspin. Instead of sending more pitches, you sit around thinking, “I suck at this. I’m never going to make it!” Instead of sending more pitches, you sit in a pool of misery, thinking bad things about yourself.

The other big problem is that this self-flagellation exercise wastes way too much of your precious time.

There are only two basic reasons why article ideas get rejected — and once you know them, it can help you move on to writing that next query more quickly.


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How a Mean Editor Helped Me Triple My Writing Income

Mad woman yelling at a phoneIt seemed like a dream come true.

I landed a high-paying blogging gig on a popular software blog. I knew that the clients I wanted read this site, so they’d see my name there and come to me with gigs.

In my mind, this was the break I was looking for to make it big as a business writer. I felt like I’d finally made it as a professional freelance writer.

But it didn’t take me long to figure out it wasn’t the absolute dream job. The editor was mean. Here’s how I handled it – and how it helped me in the long run:


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Why Super-Short Articles Can Build a Big Writing Career

Old fashioned writer with new ideaWriting short can be refreshing — like ice in your underwear.

It’s also a practical way to build a writing career.

Many magazines today, from Smithsonian to Seventeen, have lots of small articles and light pieces in their brightly designed front pages. It speaks to the reading tastes of the Internet age: colorful and chunky.

For writers — especially ones trying to break in to a magazine — these areas (called “front of book” or FOB) can be a quick source of good money and wider opportunities. Here’s how:

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